A study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has revealed that stress aloe is sufficient to cause an increase in metabolic syndrome. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released upon exposure to stress and acts by counteracting insulin the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and slow the body’s production of it.
“Our findings indicate that people who leave a rural lifestyle for an urban environment are exposed to high levels of stress and tend to have higher levels of the hormone cortisol,” said one of the study’s authors, Peter Herbert Kann, MD, PhD, MA of Philipp’s University in Marburg, Germany. “This stress is likely contributing to the rising rates of diabetes we see in developing nations.”
The researchers examined the impact of stress on people living in rural and urban areas in Namibia. Namibia is the second least-densely populated country in the world, with 38.6 percent of residents living in urban environments.
The scientists measured cortisol, blood sugar and cholesterol levels in 60 Ovahimba people living in the regional capital, Opuwo. Opuwo has a population of around 21,000. The researchers then conducted the same tests on 63 Ovahimba people living at least 50 kilometers from the nearest town or village. The results reflect that among the urban residents, 28 percent of the people had diabetes or other glucose metabolism disorders. The rate was less than half that for rural residents. The urban dwellers also had significantly higher cortisol levels than their rural counterparts.
“The results suggest sociocultural instability caused by urbanization contributes to an increased risk of developing diabetes or another metabolic disorder,” Kann said. “This is the first prospective study to systematically show the body’s regulation of the hormone cortisol plays a part in the metabolic changes brought on by the shift to an urban lifestyle.”